Medical research facing fund cuts

25 Mar 2011

An announcement by the federal government of a potential $400 million fund cut to the National Health and Medical Research Council has initiated a backlash by Australia's top medical researchers.

The Australian medical industry faces huge risks if funding is cut, including peoples access to future health benefits, medical research employment opportunities, reducing Australia's future health expenditure and retaining the country's best scientists. Australia has already produced some of the most life-changing research in areas of infectious diseases, through Nobel Laureate Sir Howard Florey's development of the first penicillin for use in humans, areas of immune system and vaccines, such as Professor Ian Frazer's development of the Gardasil vaccine, and Melbourne paediatrician, Dr John Colebatch's first controlled clinical trial of chemotherapy to treat childhood leukaemia.

Medical research funding cuts could result in huge losses for Australia, not only for the economy, but additionally the potential to cause job losses and force Australia's best researchers to pursue opportunities abroad. Research is a long-term investment and many which projects have committed years of time, service and funding are now facing uncertainty in the future.

A campaign initiated by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Discoveries Need Dollars, is directed at protecting medical research funding and reprimanding the government for affecting the future health of Australians. Through their campaign, you can tell Australia's politicians your standpoint on cutbacks in medical research funding, and become a face of medical research.

Australian Medical Researchers need funding support to continue to make scientific discoveries which impact and improve healthcare in the future.

To find out more about the importance of protecting medical research and to become involved, go to Discoveries Need Dollars. If you are a medical researcher or have benefited from medical research, share your story by sending it to